Léogâne (Kreole: Leyogàn) is a coastal city in Ouest, Haiti.
Léogâne was historically a center of sugar and rum production, and more recently became infamous as the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake. It’s also called “the bastion of stone carving in Haiti”.
Léogane is one of the oldest cities in the country. From the time of the Indians, it was called Yaguana. The date of elevation to the rank of the commune is not known. It has thirteen communal sections and one district. It is inland, its dominant terrain is the hills and its climate is normal. Its inhabitants bear the name of Léoganais. In 1998, the population of the commune of Léogane was estimated at 106,785 inhabitants. For an area of 688.52 km2, its density was 155 inhabitants.
It also holds importance for archaeological and ancient sites such as Fort Campan, and one of the most ancient windmills in the western hemisphere is located in Baussan Léogâne. The town was at the epicenter of the 12 January 2010 earthquake, and was catastrophically affected, with 80-90% of buildings damaged. It also had been destroyed in an in 1770. At the time of the arrival of the Europeans in 1492, Yaguana—modern-day Léogâne—was the capital of Jaragua, one of the five chiefdoms on the island of Hispaniola. This province was the last independent holdout during the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola until their leader Queen Anacaona was captured and killed by the Spaniards in 1503. The French secured legal access to one-third of the island from the Spanish crown by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 and established a city in Yaguana and renamed it Léogâne. In 1803, during the Haitian Revolution Jean-Jacques Dessalines ordered his men to burn the town to the ground to force out the last of the French colonists.
HistoryEditThe site of Léogane would have been the seat of the part of Xaragua. The Kingdom of Xaragua was led by Bohéchio, who succeeded Anacaona, his sister the wife of Caonabo who then led the Maguana. Anacoana was endowed with a genius superior to her sex and even to that of the peoples of the island of Santo Domingo, and had for the Spaniards feelings of affection and inspired them to her brother. He died without children and left the kingdom to his sister Anacoana. Beyond her political role, she left the image of a poet and samba who performed songs. This region of Léogane has always been considered one of the most prosperous regions of the island of Hispaniola.
Among the founding settlers of Yaguana, whose French pronunciation made Léogane, was Ogeron who was governor of the French colony of Santo Domingo in 1665. In 1669, Léogane counted only 50 men carrying weapons. The settlement was located on two sites: L'Ester and Petite Rivière, the seat of the parish of Saint-Jacques. In 1694, Ogeron came to reside in Léogane, which consecrated the settlement as the capital of the colony.
In 1691, the English attacked Petite Rivière, but were repelled by the inhabitants; In 1701, L'Ester and Petite Rivière were wanted, but the diversity of opinions kept them both. In February 1710 a fire ravaged Petite Rivière, leaving only six or seven houses and the church was not rebuilt.
L'Ester was attacked in October 1694 by the English. On this occasion Monsieur Guy Coutard, adviser to the Sovereign Council, distinguished himself, but there were 40 men dead or wounded. On August 7, 1702, a new attack of the English took place, without success. The parish of L'Ester was abolished by an ordinance of 15 April 1711. The Sainte-Rose parish of Lima, located in Léogane, succeeded the two parishes of Petite Rivière and L'Ester.
In 1697, the sovereign and then Superior Council of the colony of Santo Domingo was transferred from Petit Goave, ruined by the English, to Léogane.
In 1915, the United States military forces landed in Haiti and occupied the country until 1934. American forces were deployed in the country without major incidents except in Léogâne, where Charlemagne Péralte commander of the military security of the region refused to put down the arms and the national flag without having received the official order of the Haitian authorities.
|VLG||Ville de Léogane||122,650|
|QTN||Quartier de Trouin||10,277|
|DCS||1ère Section Dessources||14,794|
|PRV||2ème Section Petite Rivière||14,040|
|GRV||3ème Section Grande Rivière||14,873|
|FBD||4ème Section Fond De Bourdin||2,520|
|PAV||5ème Section Palmiste à Vin||4,506|
|ORN||6ème Section Section Orangers||1,474|
|PAQ||7ème Section Parques||1,640|
|BSG||8ème Section Beauséjour||1,616|
|CTN||9ème Section Citronniers||1,257|
|FDO||10ème Section Fond D'Oie||3,161|
|GMO||11ème Section Gros Morne||2,587|
|CMI||12ème Section Cormiers||2,146|
|PHP||13ème Section Petit Harpon||2,272|
At the level of economic and financial infrastructure, the municipality has a hotel, a dozen small restaurants, a Caisse populaire and six marketing cooperatives.
A dozen Building materials, over thirty food supply centres, shops, depots, several gas stations, three private morgues, eighteen Phamarcies, several photocopiers, numerous beauty studios, four markets, several photography studios and several dry cleaning are the economic and commercial establishments of the commune of Léogane.
Sugar cane, cassava, beans of several varieties, plantain, maize, are the main economic resources of the population. There are also a lot of other things that are cultivated and residents practice domestic animal husbandry.
Léogâne is known for its tafia, a sugar cane-based alcohol.
Demography and social problems
The population of Léogâne is estimated to be more than 200 000 inhabitants, of whom 3/4 are under 35 years of age. The concern of the youth of the city revolves around the expectation of a visa to emigrate, because unemployment is raging.
The Ministry of the National Education for Youth and Sports is represented by a school inspection office in the commune of Léogane. This commune has numerous private kindergartens, twenty pubic schools, numerous private, and four congregational were inventoried in the municipality. At the secondary level, were two public, and numerous private. There are also sixteen vocational schools.
The Ministry of Public Health and Population is not represented in the commune of Léogane. In the case of health facilities, a hospital, seven clinics, six health centres with no bed, and a health center with a bed have been inventoried at the communal level. A well-staffed team of doctors, dentists, nurses, auxiliaries, certified matrons and laboratory technicians form the health personnel of the commune of Léogane.
With respect to water availability, the municipality has six rivers, nineteen springs, two ponds and a lagoon. Almost every house has a well. There are public fountains with eighteen taps and more than two hundred pumps. These fountains were built by UNICEF, but several of the pumps need repair. The commune of Léogane and a good number of its localities are electrified.
For administrative and judicial infrastructures, a police station, a Peace Court and a civil status office were listed in the municipality.
Léogâne has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture.
Nearly 130 temples were counted in the commune. The Catholic temples (churches and chapels combined) are revealed to be the most numerous. Vodun occupies a prominent place among the inhabitants of the "City of Queen Anacaona", with a mixture of African, Tainos and Christian rituals.
The municipality of Léogane has five Representations of political party, 23 Popular organizations, 20 peasant groups, six Women's groups and three non-commercial cooperatives.
The commune contains a telephone office, four radio stations, and a television station.
As for leisure, the commune has two libraries and a cinema room. She has no museum. The theatrical life is animated by the Club des Stars, an active troupe since 1993, offering performances on different occasions. It includes: Lanmou Kreyol, we've killed the sun, black chorus, Crazy about Michel, and others.
Football (soccer), basketball, volleyball, tennis are the sports practiced in the commune of Léogane. The city has two football clubs in the first Division: Le Cavalo and Valencia. The stadium is named Parc Gérard Christophe and can accommodate about 15,000 spectators. Footballer Jean-Jacques Pierre made his debut at the Cavalo.
Seven night-clubs and twenty nine Gaguères complement the places of leisure and entertainment of the commune.
several great names of Haitian light music originated from Léogâne. Among the most recent, we can cite Carole Demason, Rodrigue milien, Samuel Lubin "Kessy" (Ideologue of the Lavalas regime), who give performances throughout the world. There are also Robinson Augustus, Dugravil, Steevee Dog, and many others.
Léogâne is the capital of Rara, a popular music and song festival that begins the day after Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Monday. The "Rara" dates from the Amerindian period, i.e. before the Spanish colonization of the island of Haiti. However, this popular feast undergoes systematic transformations, especially after 1804, where it became a manifestation of vodun, taking on a public dimension (what is seen in the street) and an esoteric dimension for the insiders of the kabbalahs of Vodun. Since the emergence of populism with Aristide in 1990, Rara has been politicized more and more.
In terms of cultural heritage, the commune of Léogane has a cave and a fort.
The Campan Fort, now in ruins and abandoned, was built around 1806 in Beauséjour, on the hills. It is part of the defensive system developed by Jean-Jacques Desalins after the revolution of independence, in the eventuality of a return of the French, former Masters of the colony of Santo Domingo.